By Bill Gould
At its igqugula held at All Saints, Greenfields on Saturday, 26 January 2013, the St Bernard Mizeki Men’s Guild Diocesan Council debated the issue of language to be used in conducting its business, orally during meetings and in writing its minutes.
The matter had arisen not only because its membership had already spread beyond only those whose home language is isiXhosa. Arguably more importantly, the Guild recognises that as it seeks to extend the benefits of membership to more parishes within the Diocese, especially to those whose congregations are not predominantly isiXhosa speaking, it is going to be most important that, in order to meaningfully conduct its business equally amongst its members, it will need to embrace language diversity in such a way that not only can each member speak in a language of choice, one in which he is comfortable speaking, but also so that each member can hear in a language of choice, one in which he is capable of understanding.
Members of the Diocesan Council understood that, in order to communicate with each other, it is not only sufficient to be able to articulate their views cogently, it is also important for each other to understand what is said with the same facility.
While this entails a degree of transformation and the challenges that accompany change, it was gratifying to all present that this future course will now enable all members to fully participate in the Guild’s activities, no longer leaving those whose language diversity is limited isolated on the sidelines of being ignorant of and uninformed on the proceedings going on around them.
“And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?” Acts 2:8 NKJV.
The late Revd Mputumi Kebeni started as Priest-in-Charge at Holy Trinity Dimbaza on 10 February 2013. He died in a tragic car accident on 16 March 2013, leaving his wife, Nombongo, and six children.
He did his primary education at St Matthew’s Practising School. After completing his secondary education he moved to Cape College at Fort Beaufort where he did his teachers’ course. He later taught in various schools: St Matthew’s Primary School, Yondela Farm School, Zingcuka Primary School and Dumani Primary School where he was Principal.
He obtained a B.Ed. degree from Rhodes University, as well as a B.Ed (Hons) in Education Management Law and Policy from the University of Pretoria in 2012. Add to this his Diploma in Theology.
He played a leading role in sport especially with the youth of Keiskammahoek, earning him the nickname of Coach. He served for many years as an Assistant Priest in the Alice Archdeaconry and at St Matthew’s in particular.
(Extract from the obituary appearing in the funeral programme, translated from isiXhosa by Ven Prof P T Mtuze).
A Requiem Mass for Mputumi Kebeni was conducted by the Bishop on Palm Sunday, 24 March, at Holy Trinity Dimbaza, and a Memorial Service at St Matthew’s Mission on 27 March.
Dear People of God
Easter greetings to you all in our diocese and beyond. The peace of the risen Christ be with you always. Alleluia! Alleluia! May Christ’s victory over disease, sin and the grave be yours now and always.
This is a great and important time in God’s church, when he has invited us and given us the privilege of serving him.
Easter reminds us of the climax of Christ’s victory over death and the grave. Christ’s life had been marked by victories: escaping Herod’s wrath when many little boys were butchered (Matthew 2:16), victory over temptations (Matt 4:1 ff), and ultimately victory over death. Take some time and read the Gospels, so that you may witness the victories of our Saviour.
The question that may come to your minds could be: how did Jesus do it? Again, the Gospels inform us that he was in tune with God through prayer. Therefore, the Christian victory is through the power of prayer, because prayer transforms us into seeing situations, people and events through the eyes of God.
You remember very well that just before his arrest he requested his disciples to pray. He knew what was coming and also knew that it is only through connectedness with God that they will be able to ward off the evil that was waiting (Luke 22:39-46). Look up verses 41-43: “Jesus withdrew from his disciples, knelt down and prayed...an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him”. Halleluiah and Amen! That is victory, when heaven participates in our anguish, frustrations and confusion.
Therefore, if we need to participate in Jesus’ victory and resurrection, we need to follow his ways and pray as he did. During Lent we have been encouraged to observe prayer, fasting and almsgiving, and I am requesting you to continue doing the same well after Lent. These principles help us in many ways in the world we live in. By the way, the world of Jesus is similar to the world of today! The dangers, tricks and all the characters of mankind have not changed. Jesus warned his disciples of the impending dangers awaiting them then, and the world has not changed. There are many graves waiting to swallow us up - graves of violence against women and children, children and elderly abuse, and the exclusion of people who do not agree with one’s ideas. We really need an angel similar to the one that strengthened Jesus to empower us in this complex world.
Jesus’ resurrection brought hope to the disciples who had become despondent and were jumping ship. How one wishes that Judas had waited a little longer! Possibly he would have escaped committing suicide. Peter carried on irrespective of the denials he showered upon Jesus, and the resurrection ushered him into a new atmosphere. Don’t you desire a new atmosphere? Then hold on a little while longer before you carry out whatever you decide to do, because Jesus’ victory is at your doorstep, to usher you into a personal victory for the Church of God.
Let the celebration of Easter 2013 make you a Peter. You are not a Judas because on Good Friday amnesty was declared to you. You are free, “Father forgive them...” (Luke 23:34). Resurrection was starting for all, and we are thankful to Jesus for that profound prayer. No one can accuse us and derail us. Let us join the Church triumphant, being the church militant, and say “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!” Enter the grave to see and believe!
May the power of the resurrected Lord surround and permeate you with the whole world with his victory now and always.
By Desrae Lazarus
For many Christians the term “the Holy Land” conjures up images of shepherds and olive trees, of dusty hills and donkeys, of Jerusalem as it existed in the age of King David, or Bethlehem at the time of Jesus. In this day and age, the Holy Land is home to many different people. The Jews, Christians and Muslims who live there today identify deeply with their land.
The Holy Land continues to invite us to journey there in faith, to meet the living God and God’s own people who still live there. To see for the first time the scenes of biblical history, to touch the places where Jesus lived and died, to walk the same streets and roads that the Lord walked, is a rare privilege and a blessing which, at times, often leaves us without words and certainly forever changed. To journey in the land of the Bible is a grace, because we journey daily with the same Jesus along the same roads, where He walked with His disciples, as companion and friend. And it is a challenge to all pilgrims, and especially to the people who still live today in this same land of conflict and suffering.
The history of Israel and Palestine is long and complex, and those who wish to understand Judaism, Christianity and Islam need to study that history carefully, to understand why this is such holy ground for so many people. They are all “descendants” of the same father Abraham. Jerusalem is the Holy City for all believers, the city of God - a God who revealed himself and brought salvation and reconciliation to all the world. Every sincere believer, whether Jew, Christian or Muslim must ask this anguishing question: How long will religion be the cause of wars and disputes among believers? It is not for this reason that God has revealed himself to us in these places, but rather for the love and salvation of humankind.
Jesus was born into a world in which it seemed, on the surface at least, that salvation and peace had already been achieved. Luke tells us that there was peace during Augustus’ reign, but there was peace only on the surface, with political, socio-economic and spiritual unrest underneath. People truly yearned for a genuine sense of salvation, peace, wholeness, harmony and healing; gifts that could be summed up in the Hebrew word: Shalom.
No power however violent and oppressive escapes the reach of God’s purposes. We too as believers are invited to follow shepherds and kings, saints and sinners and be a witness to all generations, as we seek the light in the darkness and share the good news of Jesus with a world steeped in darkness. The psalmist expresses what may be hidden in the hearts of pilgrims who experience this blessed and privileged land: “Blessed are those who find their strength in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage” Ps 84:5.
In unity let us pray for the salvation and restoration of Israel and her people. SHALOM!
May the Holy One of Israel richly bless you.
Journeying with Jesus: The Palm Sunday Road
Join us on Pilgrimage to Israel, Petra and Jordan
25 April 2014 to 4 May 2014
Contact : Desrae: Mobile 082 851 7325; Email: email@example.com
By Trevor Webster
The beautiful St Patrick’s Church at Hogsback hosted the opening of a Prayer Trail on Saturday 16 March 2013. The afternoon opened with music provided by Dr Andrew-John Bethke, organist from the Cathedral in Grahamstown, and other musicians who played and sang. This concert was followed by the Opening and tea.
The Prayer Trail has been a labour of love by members of the congregation who have spent months and had many work-partiesorder to make the gardens beautiful. The Prayer Trail meanders through the gardens showing their beauty and that of the magnificent view of the valleys below. And the Prayer Stations give further significance to the walk. But much more special has been the generosity ofof the community who have contributed substantially showing how highlyPatrick’s is regarded in the community.
It is the parish’s hope that this Prayer Trail will be well used, and a source of spiritual enrichment to those who use it.
Gathering for prayer (above) inside St Patrick’s Church and (below) in the beautiful grounds, at the opening ceremony of the Prayer Trail.
By ACNS staff
The Most Revd Justin Welby was enthroned on 21 March as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury in a service that celebrated the diversity of the Anglican Communion.
More than 2,000 people from around the world gathered in Canterbury Cathedral for a celebration marked by traditional elements of Anglican worship blended with contemporary music, vibrant Ghanaian dancing and African drums, a Punjabi hymn and a blessing spoken in French.
Guests included clergy from across the Church of England; and lay people including the UK’s Prince of Wales and Prime Minister David Cameron. A host of ecumenical guests were present including well-known US megachurch pastor and author Rick Warren, a friend of Archbishop Welby. All but one of the Anglican Communion Primates had travelled to Canterbury for the inauguration and the members of the Standing Committee were also present.
The event saw the Archbishop installed as both Bishop of Canterbury—by, for the first time in history, a female Archdeacon—and Primate of All England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is also the spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
The newly installed Archbishop of Canterbury publicly committed himself to the service of the Anglican Communion, “that together we may proclaim the Gospel of Christ, who reconciles us to God and breaks down the walls that divide us.”
On Tuesday 19 February 2013, Bernard Mizeki Church, of Scenery Park Archdeaconry, started a project: “Love Them All”. This project aims to give back to the community, and to show all God’s people that they are cared for and loved. The theme for this project taken from3:12: “Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”. In fact it is the policy of our Diocese that all parishes should adopt schools in their areas. That is what Bernard Mizeki was implementing.
The Principal of Zwelenfundo Public school, the Staff, School Governing Body, and the community welcomed the congregants of St Bernard Mizeki with smiles and excitement, as this kind of project was the first of its kind for their school. The principal addressed the congregants and shared a few of their issues with the church members, issues that they could relate to, as a church. The principal said there had been an increase in homosexual experimentation amongst the children of the school, which he attributed to exposure to negative influences within their homes and in their community. He asked for continuous prayer as lately children are now experimenting with drugs.
Archdeacon Zamile Dlanjwa first gave thanks to the school at large for opening their doors to the congregation. Explaining the reason for the visit, he also assured the principal this would not be the last time they visited the school, and it would be an ongoing process throughout the year.
This is the first of three schools and this was a success. The parish prays that as time goes on the project will grow and more people will pitch in to give a helping hand.
From the Department of Spirituality: When God is silent
By Margaret Fourie
Easter is, for many of us, the high point of our year. It is when, after the discipline of Lent, we draw closest to our Lord, in the washing of the feet, on Good Friday, and most joyously in the Resurrection.
But then, for many of us, this is followed by just a big nothing. A silence, it seems, from God’s side. It can be very alarming and discouraging.
Look at what happened to Jesus – after the high point of his baptism, full of the Holy Spirit, he is driven into desert to encounter a great silence from heaven. And to keep company with Satan. From the heights to the depths. First week, second week, third week, fourth week, fifth week, into sixth week and still nothing. By then he is vulnerable to Satan, who tempts him to give up, to take the short cut, to go on his own.
“If you ARE the Son of God ..” Is he? Did he perhaps imagine the dove and voice at the Jordan? He counters with Scripture. Still just Satan. “Do it my way,” says Satan. “It works for me“. Jesus counters with the Law. “Impress them. That will do the trick” says Satan and even quotes scripture back at him.
At that point, Jesus maps the way for us: He makes up his mind to trust God anyway and act on his trust. With Job, he can say, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.” Even though I can’t hear him, even if he is silent forever, I will still trust him, and will do the next thing.
It is interesting what happens next. Satan is put to flight for a while, and Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit once more, goes into Galilee.
Isn’t this just what happens to us? We have a wonderful experience of God, as we have had at Easter. All may be well for a short time. Then suddenly – nothing. Silence.
St John of the Cross tells us to embrace that silence, that Dark Night of the Soul, for it is in the darkness that we learn faith. It is in the silence that we involve our wills. Like marriage, our relationship with God is a matter of both love and will. We choose to be faithful no matter what may happen.
The enduring, deep love and trust that develops as a result of all those unsure times, those silent times, is our lifeline.
It is not that God has forgotten us, or that he doesn’t love us. He gives us his silence so that we too, like Jesus, can make up our minds, trust him and get on with doing the next thing. Then we find ourselves filled with the Holy Spirit once more and we go on with our mission.
We need God’s silence as much as we need to hear him, and he treats us, not with the formal politeness of the stranger, but with the vigorous love of the family person, who knows what we need and is not afraid to take the risk of giving it to us. Thanks be to him.
By Kokela Siqendu
AWF members started 2013 with a well-attended retreat on 25-27 January, at Mngqesha Great Place in King William’s Town. The theme was “Together in Christ”. Canon Magwalisa conducted the retreat. AWF members had to answer questions such as “What makes you a Christian?” Canon Magwalisa urged members not to comprise their brand “Christ”, and said that we must market our Brand, by testifying about the Power of Christ. He addressed issues of Accountability, Responsibilities and Transparency, looking at Christ as an ambassador of God, and reflected that we are also ambassadors of Christ and we must always represent Him.
AWF elected a new President at their AGM, held at All Saints in East London. The AGM was attended by AWF Provincial President and her Secretary. Other Dioceses, Mthatha, Port Elizabeth and Khahlamba, attended the AGM as observers. The Revd Noelene Arends welcomed all members of AWF. What a joy to fellowship with other sisters in Christ! The AGM started with a Eucharist service. Canon Magxwalisa in his sermon reminded us that Jesus Christ empowers us when He sent us to minister to others. He urged us to make a difference to our communities. He reminded us that we are ambassadors of Christ. AWF marked their presence in the area by donating full school uniforms to needy scholars of Sinomonde Primary School.The following new office bearers were elected:
Neliswa Sikupela, St Andrew Ginsberg (cell no. 079 181 5189/ 083 413 6605)
Deputy President: Ntombentsha Dilima, St Augustine Grahamstown
Alternate Deputy President: Nombuzo Nyosi, Christ Church Amalinda
Secretary: Landiswa Socishe: St Andrew Mdantsane
Treasurer: Gcobisa Tshalane: St. John & St Chad Zwelitsha
AWF Members Back Row: (from left): Nombuzo Nyosi, Alternate Deputy President; Ntombentsha Dilima, Deputy President; Neliswa Sikupela, President.
Front Row: (from left): Landiswa Socishe, Secretary; Vava Ndlabhu; Ndumi Dlokolo; Nomachina Mzamo.
By Lulama Ntshingwa, Member of the Anglican-Methodist International Commission for Unity in Mission, January 2013.
The first official meeting of the Anglican-Methodist Dialogue of Southern Africa was held on 15 January 2013 at Bishopscourt, at the invitation of the Anglican Archbishop, Thabo Makgoba. The Methodist Presiding Bishop, Ziphozihle Siwa, accompanied by his General Secretary, the Revd Vuyani Nyobole and the Revd Gcobani Vika, attended the meeting on behalf of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.
The purpose of the meeting was for the leadership of both the Anglican-Methodist Churches to explore possible bi-lateral cooperation informed by the Anglican-Methodist International Commission for Unity in Mission (AMICUM) dialogue mandate.
The meeting was initiated by Canon Lulama Ntshingwa, who is a member of Anglican-Methodist International Commission for Unity in Mission (AMICUM). This international body meets every year to discuss bi-lateral cooperation worldwide between the two Churches, and met in Jamaica from 20 January 2013.
It is therefore historic that Southern Africa has started its process towards bi-lateral cooperation and agreement as an expression of love and unity in mission as it is expressed in John 17.
The meeting identified two major areas of cooperation namely Theological Education (post ordination training) and Education (early childhood development centres) which could be undergirded by a development approach. Both churches are also committed to the trajectories of the Church Unity Commission (CUC) whose work they still support.
As a process going forward, both Churches will give a report about this historical bi-lateral meeting, ACSA to the Synod of Bishops, and the Methodists to their Bishops’ meeting, both to be held in March.
Canon Ntshingwa was asked to continue on behalf of ACSA to be the link, and serve as liaison person with the MCSA.
The following attended the Anglican-Methodist Dialogue:
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba
Bishop Rubin Phillip
Bishop Peter Lee
Bishop Brian Marajh
Bishop-Elect Margaret Vertue
Canon Lulama Ntshingwa
Mr Rob Rogerson
The PEO, the Revd Allan Kannemeyer.
Presiding Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa
The General Secretary, the Revd Vuyani Nyobole
The Revd Gcobani Vika.
By Bill Gould
Christ Church, Amalinda in East London celebrated Mothering Sunday with a packed congregation sharing a vibrant Eucharist celebrated by the Rector, Wilson Ntlola, assisted by several members of the Mothers’ Union.
The Lessons and Gospel were read by Mesdames Xolelwa Mtyenge, Nomanduleli Kuse and Nolita Ndawana while the sermon was delivered by MU Archdeaconry Leader Bathabile Maselwa who, preaching on the parable of the prodigal son, described how God’s unconditional spiritual love for us, His children, is matched by the unconditional love of parents for their children.
Christ Church, which suffered a devastating fire several years ago, is now planning to extend its church building by enlarging the sanctuary area which is presently very small and by extending the nave including adding a vestry room and toilet facilities.
Rector Wilson Ntlola blesses gifts donated by the Mothers’ Union.
Feel the Spirit! Sharing the Peace on Mothering Sunday at Christ Church Amalinda with a vibrant chorus.
By Ayanda Mfenyana, Archdeaconry MU Marketing Co-ordinator
On 10 March 2013 the Mothers’ Union of St John & St Chad’s Church, under the leadership of Parish leader Mrs N Kona, celebrated Mothering Sunday. On this day they decided to give gifts to the church as their mother. They came singing and rejoicing like the daughters of old. The mood was celebratory and the whole congregation joined in. The Rector, Archdeacon M Doda, received and blessed the gifts. He further thanked them for focusing their attention on the church.
The gifts were: charcoal, incense, wine, wafers, cleaning material and others. These would ensure that the church would always be clean and during services the smell of incense will be like perfume. The wine and wafers are like the Simnel cake and drinks that would have been consumed during this time. The wine and wafers would also help the church to continue celebrating Holy Communion.
St Bartholomew, Alice
By Kholiwe Mkiva
On the 10th of March St Bartholomew's Mothers' Union in Alice celebrated Mothering Sunday, The readings were read by M U members, and the sermon was delivered by M U member Mrs S Mabeqa. Members of the MU presented the church with gifts.
In 16th century England, there was a custom that people would return to their “Mother Church” (a large local church or the cathedral) for a service on the 4th Sunday in Lent. Domestic servants would be given a day off to visit their mother church, and this would be a unique time when they had the opportunity to gather together with their families, including their own mothers. Children would pick bunches of wild flowers on the way to church to give to their mothers. In England this developed into a tradition of people giving gifts to their mothers, and indeed “Mothers’ Day” is still celebrated in the UK on the 4th Sunday in Lent. In the United States and much of the rest of the world including South Africa, Mothers’ Day comes from a different tradition and is celebrated in May.
“Simnel” cake was traditionally eaten on this Sunday when Lenten fasting was relaxed, or at Easter. Source: Wikipedia.
Umbuliso greets Gareth Jones, who has come to us from Ficksburg in the Free State Diocese. He has been appointed as Rector of Holy Trinity King William’s Town from 1 April. We pray God’s blessing on him and his wife Mariane.
Monwabisi Peter, (above) a priest of the Ethiopian Episcopal Church who is on the staff at Rhodes University, has been seconded to the Diocese of Grahamstown and licensed to assist at the Cathedral, which has given a warm welcome to him and his wife Nokulunga.
Noluthando Gixana has moved from St Paul’s Zeleni, and is now Assistant Priest at St Alban East London.
Milton Quntu, Deacon, has moved from St Philip Grahamstown to St Augustine Grahamstown.
Zamuxolo Kilana has moved from St Francis Mdantsane to assist at St Mary Pumlani.
Congratulations to Sue Paton, Assistant Chaplain of the Diocesan School for Girls, on being awarded her Masters in Theology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Kazeka Somhlahlo, Assistant Priest at Holy Cross Mdantsane, on the death of her nephew Lindi Jordan.
Carol Deas, wife of Honorary Canon Graeme Deas, whose mother Cynthia Glover, died on 24 March.
The photograph above, taken a few years ago, shows Mary Knowling typically occupied, taking part in the restoration of St George’s Chambers with her team of helpers.
By T T Mgatyelwa, Diocesan Media Officer
Bro Time, the legal advisor of Bernard Mizeki Guild, lost his sister. The burial was held in Ngele Location in Middledrift. As a caring Guild we wish to say lalani ngenxeba Matshonyane. You will pass through this pain. We will miss you on the P C M in Queenstown and we will pray for your family and the Mdingi family. Bro Tini, a member of the Guild and Scenery Park Archdeaconry, was buried in Mooiplaas, Ngxingxolo location, on 16 Feb 2013. May his soul rest in peace.
For the Bishop's engagements, see the 2013 Year Planner.
Umbuliso is published by the Diocese of Grahamstown, edited by Maggy Clarke, and printed by Dupli-Print, Grahamstown.Dead-line for next issue: 20 March 2013
Return to the front page of the Diocese of Grahamstown